Dad-oo here! What is this “veggies challenge” everybody keeps talking about? Heck yes I’ll give it a shot.
After I picked up Eli from day care today, I took him to one of his favorite post day care locations: the grocery store. Why is it one of his favorite places? Well because the bakery lady hands him a big pre-dinner sugar injection (cookie) to stuff his face with.
Whilst Eli was nomming on his cookie, Dad-oo decided to peruse the entire store for ingredients that would eventually be combined to make a recipe I will for the moment call: The Opposite of a Wad of Sugar And Dough.
Since momma has been rocking the baked goods, I decided to try something a little different. It is a complex culinary technique that has been passed through the ages, probably since before the dawn of the Roman Empire. True story. That storied (true storied, if you will) technique is taking a pants load of different veggies and fruit, jamming them into a blender, and hoping they don’t make your toddler spray disgusting juice concoction all over the house, the pugs, your face, his back and of course the TV.
I’ll include the recipe at the end, but I’d like to cover the ingredients I picked and why. First the veggies. I picked the veggies partly based on nutrition, but also based on lighter flavors that wouldn’t clash with the sweet stuff I added.
- Pea Pods (B, C, A Vitamins, Fiber)
- Cucumber (Potassium)
- Carrots (A,C,E,K Vitamins, Fiber and a wheel barrow of other good stuff)
- Beets (C,E Vitamins, Potassium, Manganese, Folate)
Yeah, I said beets. I think I got the idea from one of the coolest shows in the history of television, The Iron Chef (old school or America). I don’t think I’ve ever seen a TV series mix serious business with tongue-in-cheek so well before. The chefs often use beets as a main ingredient in desserts since they are slightly sweet, though eaten alone they are evil as represented by the plant kingdom. Now the sweet stuff.
- One kiwi
- Mango Melon Sobe Lifewater
- Cinnamon apple sauce
I chose Lifewater because with all of the sugar already present from both the veggies and the fruit, I didn’t want to add any more than I had to. Remember, this kid just got punched in the blood stream by a cookie. Lifewater uses Reb A (stevia) sweetener, a plant extract that I have no reason to mistrust any more than sugar (another plant extract). I think it’s a better option than its fellow sweeteners, the lab mutants: aspartame and sucralose. Also Lifewater is awesome.
Ok, now for the proportions. No wait! First I have to name it. Hmmm…. Liquid Awesome, Toddler Jet Fuel, Pug Juice, Health Injection, In Your Face V8? I choose…
Toddler Jet Fuel (batch 1)
6 Pea Pods
4 to 5 Slices of Cucumber
4-5 Baby Carrots
5 Canned (no added sugar) Beet Slices
2 Splashes of Mango Melon Lifewater (probably less than 1/8 of the bottle)
2-3 Spoonfuls of Cinnamon Apple Sauce
Incredibly Difficult Instructions: Chop up the veggies and kiwi, dump them in a blender, liquefy the bejeezus out of them until there are no chunks floating around. If a picky toddler sees a green veggie chunk you will soon have Toddler Jet Fuel on your face.
Modifications: I poured half of the first batch into a glass, and added another serving of each of the veggies, the Lifewater, the apple sauce to the remaining juice in the blender. I then added three spoonfuls of strawberry yogurt and some sliced bananas.
Results: Eli drank with equal voraciousness from both batches and just as importantly, no jet fuel was strewn about the room. The beets gave the mixture a deep red color and overall it tasted like some unspecified berry smoothie (not nearly as good of a name as jet fuel). A word of caution: Put a bib on and keep it away from valuables. It is messy and beet juice stains everything. Maybe give it to your kid in the tub.
Eli’s Comments: “cup”. “more please”. “Da-Doo is the next Iron Chef“. He really said that.
All in all I call this a veggies challenge success as well as the arch nemesis of the other food I created for Eli. The Pancake Cake. That post to follow at a later (but very close) date.